Mario (Japanese: マリオ Hepburn: Mario, pronounced [ma.ɾi.o]; English: /ˈmɑːrioʊ, ˈmær-/; Italian: [ˈmaːrjo]) is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as the company’s mascot and the eponymous protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italianplumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures generally center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser. His younger brother and sidekick is Luigi.
With more than 500 million units sold worldwide, the overall Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Outside of the Super Mario platform series, other Mario genres include the Mario Kart racing series, sports games such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, role-playing games such as Mario & Luigi, Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, and educational games such as Mario Is Missing!, Mario’s Time Machineand Mario Teaches Typing. The franchise has branched into several media, including television shows, film, comics, and licensed merchandise. Since 1990, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet.